Earlier this spring, we informed you of legislation in the Texas Senate that would authorize public colleges and universities to perform background checks on students living in dorms. Recently, Texas Governor Rick Perry authorized this legislation, and it appears some colleges will require students to undergo background checks if they apply for dorm residence.


Additional details about the legislation: student background checks are not mandatory at public colleges and universities – each school can choose to do them or not. If a school decides to do a background check, it can check the Department of Public Safety’s website for official information. There are limitations to this, though, since the website only contains crimes committed in Texas.


Other restrictions include who has access to the records – only the campus police chief and/or housing officer are approved; the history cannot be released or disclosed to anyone without consent or court order; and the criminal record must be destroyed after the beginning of the academic semester.